Conjuncture: Intergenerational Pen-Pal


Technology has become a great resource in helping us connect faster, but sometimes faster isn’t always better. The art of writing letters seems to be lost on a younger generation while an older generation is constantly having to adapt to each generational technology shift.

If you look up designing for older adults, you will find a plethora of articles all related to designing tech for them. It was only when I started searching other countries could I find articles that didn’t revolve around technology and older adults. Why are we constantly pushing a medium on them? I think there’s so much benefit in teaching the world to slow down and why don’t we implement it with the younger generation?

Connecting children with an older adult would help close the gap on social isolation and help foster intergenerational relationships. A child would benefit from the excitement/anticipation of receiving mail, formulating a mentor-type relationship, become excited about writing and reading, and be exposed to a generation of society that they might not necessarily have opportunities to engage with. The older adult would benefit from the same excitement/anticipation in receiving mail, formulating a mentee-type relationship, and gain insights into how younger generations are learning.

Creating relationships from two generations that don’t typically engage with one another would also help mend social stigmas that older adults are typically associated with.